This Blog covers nature sightings and related news in the Calderdale area.
It includes all groups - Plants, animals and fungi with links to specialist sites.
Anyone wishing to become a member of this Blog and post sightings please contact us.
If you would like to join the Halifax Scientific Society either email me or come along to the next meeting.
All welcome:
Please contact us about any sensitive records before posting on the blog

Tuesday, 12 May 2020


Last week during the warm weather we had numerous Brimstone butterflies in our woodland at Todmorden.
In the past there have been the occasional sightings and some years none at all.
Perhaps it is a combination of the warm spring and the maturing Alder Buckthorn we planted 30 years ago.
The woodland is of an open character with glades.
I would recommend anyone who does tree planting to include Alder Buckthorn and it thrives in damp ground.

Difficult to get closer for a good photo--looks to be feeding on the bluebells.

The Brimstone is one of the world's longest lived butterflies.
It also chooses to hibernate in Ivy.
A banking was covered in Ivy, then it was all eaten within a few winter months by Roe deer.
Apparently Ivy is the main food source for Roe in the winter months.
They left the banking with all the rope-like surface runners, like a net spread over the ground.
The Ivy isn't dead and is now growing new leaves.

See photo for the browse height on this gatepost; so measure the height and it will give you a guide when saplings can be released from having the leader nibbled off.



  1. All very interesting Philip, thanks. I don't know Alder Buckthorn well at all. I don't think it's been planted very much locally (?) - or maybe I don't recognise it ! I'm om the lookout for it now.
    Good to get some Brimstones as well, very special butterflies.

  2. Alder Buckthorn and Buckthorn are not common or widely planted in the area. The only place I have seen them is behind the HWRC at Brighouse, Atlas Mills. But you can't get into there.
    Let me know of any others you find.